Drico giddy after 'Gidley' gets airing
Published 20/01/2010 | 05:00
They call it the 'Gidley'. Not quite a secret weapon but all the same a ploy requiring audacious skill and dead-eyed cohesion.
Shane Horgan's sumptuous flicked pass to Brian O'Driscoll in the dying moments of Saturday's breathless finish against Brive became the latest adornment to a back-line's box of tricks which seems almost everlasting.
A tribute to Aussie rugby league star Matt Gidley -- a former team-mate of Ireland's World Cup flop Brian Carney -- Leinster's erstwhile backs coach David Knox introduced the trick into the squad's training drills and the star-studded back-line haven't stopped delivering since.
"We have a little competition to see who can get the most in a season," revealed the Ireland captain yesterday.
Perhaps feeling the need to avoid publicising the private competitive edges which have driven his squad to the summit of the European game, O'Driscoll didn't volunteer the possessor of the 'maillot jaune' in terms of doing the 'Gidley'.
Suffice to say Horgan's effort earned a 'Brucie Bonus' for aesthetic reasons, thanks to the perfectly spinning trajectory of the almost inconceivable off-load.
"That brings it to the next level! The fact it was like a spinning top by the time I caught it, that was pretty sweet. It made it much easier to catch. Much of the move was rehearsed, except I have to admit that his (Horgan's) part was off the cuff.
"In the end, he just did it perfectly because both defenders completely bought it and it left me not having to break stride at all. It was semi-rehearsed play I suppose."
Having an almost telepathic relationship with playing colleagues ensures that when Leinster need to execute under pressure it is almost like second nature.
"We weren't panicking. We realised it wasn't really happening for us. That does show a maturity. We always knew there would be an opportunity. When we got that last scrum, we knew this is our chance to get our fourth try and if we don't get it now, it's not going to happen," O'Driscoll continued.
"We put together a good play, an incredible piece of skill from Shane to get it out of the tackle and a canter in. But it was a good scrum, balls were out in front, passes out in front.
"To be able to be that clinical in the 79th minute definitely does show that we have come a long way. The more you're in those very tight games, when you need to push it and find yourself needing to produce, pushing yourself, the better chance you have of doing it next time around.
"You do realise certain players have the capabilities of pulling off bits of skill like that. I would have known, running that support line, that it was within Shane's armoury to do that.
"I felt it was coming. It's not quite telepathy, but having played for 10 years, a lot of training sessions, you realise what players are capable of. We've done that sort of thing in training a lot of times. So it's nice that it comes off in a game for everyone to see, not just the 35 guys training in the squad."
Technical consultant Alan Gaffney revealed an unchanged extended panel for Saturday's final Heineken Cup Pool 6 trip to Twickenham to face London Irish, from which Leinster require a point to qualify for the quarter-finals.